- by R K Senthil Kumar - Occupational Therapist
- 0 Shares
- Mar 28 2018
DO YOU SUFFER FROM ACROPHOBIA?
Acrophobia is an extreme or irrational fear or phobia of heights, extremely when one is at a great height. It is associated with space and motion discomfort.
It is normal for most of us to have a degree of natural fear of heights or falling. However, for people with a phobia, the fear is extreme and often accompanied with panic attacks and trauma.
Some possible reasons for acrophobia could be:
- Early traumatic experiences like falling from a tree or witnessing someone getting hurt while falling from a high altitude
- Genetic; children whose parents are afraid of heights could end up going through the same
- Vertigo; a feeling that your surrounding is moving or spinning
- Dysfunction in maintaining balance
COMMON SYMPTOMS OF ACROPHOBIA
The most common symptoms of acrophobia are:
- Feeling that you will fall or jump off the edge
- Panic attacks
- Dizziness, nausea, dry mouth, excessive sweating
- Heart palpitations
- Fear of dying
There are a number of ongoing studies conducted in the field of phobias. There are no medications to treat phobias but they could be prescribed to manage symptoms associated with a phobia such as anxiety, panic attack, nausea, etc.
Therapy is an effective and long term treatment for phobias. Some common form of therapy are:
- Desensitization: Here the subject is exposed gradually to their particular phobia, believing that eventually the person will overcome the phobia.
- Virtual reality: Patients interact with digitally created environment that are virtual representations of a traumatic stimuli, in order to reduce fear responses.
- Cognitive behavioural therapy: A psycho social intervention used to alter the phobic thoughts.
There is ongoing research in the area of different phobias. Treatment options may help resolve the issue in the short run but everlasting results are not guaranteed and the phobia can bounce back anytime with exposure to a traumatic stimuli.
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